After the whirlwind of Christmas movies and seasonal specials, it's good to know that there are also movies out there that are perfect for celebrating the arrival of 2017. In the spirit of resolutions, new beginnings, and endings, it's nice to sit back and relax and let yourself ring in the squeaky clean year with some cinematic magic. Everyone seems to be on the same page when reflecting back on 2016, it certainly wasn't part of our "Greatest Hits" album. So, I am not going to tell you to go stream something trivial like New Year's Eve itself. Rather, let me give you a handful of films that will make you feel positive about going into 2017 with an inspired attitude, and a motivation to appreciate life a little bit more this time around.
1. A Long Way Down
This British black comedy is perfect for riding out 2016, because it revolves around a group of people who aren't exactly happy with their lives and haven't had the best year in the slightest. They all plan to commit suicide on New Year's Eve, on a lonely rooftop - except it doesn't turn out to be that lonely. All of these strangers (including the lovely Aaron Paul and Pierce Brosnan) meet on that rooftop in London and decide to make some profit of off their unlikely "mass suicide attempt." It sounds awkwardly depressing, but honestly, it turns into a film about redemption and friendship. There's a pretty good love story woven in there, and let's just say that the group of strangers manage to survive the year.
2. About Time
There are plenty of instances in 2016 where I wish I could go back in time and "tweak" things a little bit. That is the main plot device behind About Time, another British film, where a lonely 21 year-old finds out that the men in his family have a special power. That power is the ability to go back into moments of their own life and alter them for the better (if things go smoothly, of course). If you've seen the trailer for this, I must say that it is very misleading - yes, it is a romantic drama with the trusty Rachel McAdams in the lead role - however, that's not just it. As the main character, Tim, finally gets his perfect love story, he faces hardship and heartbreak within his own family. As he comes to grips with the rules of and limitations of his time travel ability, he realizes that he must live each day to the fullest - and more than once. Not only does some of the film focus on NYE itself, the whole moral at its center is that we should appreciate every single day that we live - even the "bad" ones.
3. When Harry Met Sally
Need I say more? This New Year's Eve classic is the romantic comedy of all time, and it gives you all the satisfaction of the "will-they-won't-they" plot. The diner scene will inspire you to be completely spontaneous and not care what anyone thinks, and the film also serves up the classic story of friends who are bordering on a romantic relationship again and again. I mean, eleven years is a long time for a friendship - maybe 2017 will be your first year of those eleven years. It might give you some hope that no matter what, if two people are meant to be together in the end, it will happen.
4. Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone
You might be rolling your eyes at me, but think of it this way - Harry Potter obviously had a pretty miserable year before he was whisked away to Hogwarts. The poor kid was living in a cupboard under the stairs with his nauseating Aunt Petunia, Uncle Dursley, and Dudley. He had no idea that he would suddenly be at the school of his dreams with magical abilities and amazing friends (sure, Voldemort was a setback). You never know what good things will come your way and save you from your rotten existence. Most of the time, you will have to take some steps to make great things happen in life - but this film can encourage you to sit back and let the future do its thing.
5. Silver Linings Playbook
This romantic drama is all about letting new people into your life, no matter how hard it might be along the way. Both characters in this movie, Pat and Tiffany weren't their happiest before they met each other, and they turned out to be each other's better half. Tiffany was definitely not someone to let just anyone in, and it took her a while to open herself up to feeling anything for Pat. Let this film allow you to feel like you can come out of your shell no matter what you're dealing with, and that sometimes you might need a little help to get where you want to be.